Christmas time is here, and we only have one extra week of the NFL regular season before the playoffs start. The race for the wild card is still on, and there could be five division champions that are crowned this weekend, and the playoff brackets almost set. Let’s see which teams stay alive with my NFL Week 16 predictions.
Saints Clinch Home-Field Advantage: with win, OR tie + Los Angeles Rams loss/tie OR Chicago loss/tie + Los Angeles Rams loss
Saints Clinch First-Round Bye: with tie, OR Chicago loss/tie, OR Los Angeles Rams loss
Los Angeles Rams Clinch First Round-Bye: with win + Chicago loss, OR tie + Chicago loss
Cowboys Clinch NFC East: with win, or tie + Washington loss/tie + Philadelphia loss/tie, or Philadelphia + Washington loss
Cowboys Clinch Playoff Berth: with tie + Minnesota loss/tie
Seahawks Clinch Playoff Berth: win + Washington loss/tie, OR win/tie + Minnesota loss, OR win + Minnesota tie (Seattle clinches due to strength of schedule over Minnesota), OR tie + Washington loss/tie + Philadelphia loss/tie
Vikings Clinch Playoff Berth: win + Philadelphia loss/tie + Washington loss
Eliminated Teams: Green Bay, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, New York Giants, Detroit, San Francisco, Arizona
Chiefs Clinch AFC West and a First-Round Bye: with win + Los Angeles Chargers loss
Chiefs Clinch Home-Field Advantage: with win + Los Angeles Chargers loss + Houston loss/tie, OR win + Los Angeles Chargers loss (Chiefs clinch due to strength of schedule over LA)
Texans Clinch AFC South: with win/tie OR Indianapolis loss/tie + Tennessee loss/tie
Texans Clinch First-Round Bye: with win + New England loss/tie, OR tie + New England loss
Texans Clinch Playoff Berth: Baltimore loss/tie, OR Pittsburgh loss, OR Tennessee loss/tie (Houston clinches due to strength of schedule over Baltimore)
Patriots Clinch AFC East: win/tie, OR Miami loss
Steelers Clinch AFC North: win + Baltimore loss/tie, OR tie + Baltimore loss
Steelers Clinch Playoff Berth: win + Indianapolis loss + Tennessee loss
Eliminated Teams: Denver, New York Jets, Cincinatti, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Oakland
Now with the picks!
Last Week’s Score: 8-8
Overall Score: 135-88
Saturday Football: Washington Redskins (7-7) @ Tennessee Titans (8-6)
The Redskins won last week? The Jags must be worse than I thought. Josh Johnson may have won one game this year, I still don’t think they’ll win again. It’s time for Tennessee to mercifully end Washington’s season, and keep their own playoff hopes alive.
Saturday Night Football: Baltimore Ravens (8-6) @ Los Angeles Chargers (11-3)
Lamar Jackson has been named the permanent starter, and after a close win against the Bucs, they have to win out in order to maintain playoff hopes. Their problem is that they’re playing the white-hot Chargers, who just dethroned the Chiefs, completely shaking up the top of the AFC playoff bracket. I’m going to pick the LA Chargers to win in a close game, because despite them not having Melvin Gordon, Philip Rivers has been nigh unstoppable this year.
Cincinatti Bengals (6-8) @ Cleveland Browns (6-7-1)
The Browns can still make the playoffs, they just need a mountain of shenanigans. They’ve been dominant since they’ve fired Hue Jackson, winning four of their past six games. The Bengals on the other hand, have completely collapsed, snapping their five game losing streak against the Raiders. Well, get ready to lose again Cincy, and the Browns will have some hope in making the playoffs.
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10) @ Miami Dolphins (7-7)
The Jags lost to a QB who has never won a game, or started an NFL game in seven years. SEVEN. YEARS. Jesus Christ, the Jags are so bad. They need to fire Bortles into the Gulf of Mexico and start fresh. The Dolphins, after upsetting the Patriots, got teabagged into annihilation by the Vikings. The Jags are going to keep on tanking, and I’m going to pick the Miami Dolphins to beat Jacksonville and keep their playoff hopes alive.
Atlanta Falcons (5-9) @ Carolina Panthers (7-7)
It looks like the Panthers have given up on the season, with the team shutting down QB Cam Newton for the remainder of the season, meaning Taylor Henicke is the starting QB. Who is that? Nobody knows. The Falcons are taking this one.
Minnesota Vikings (7-6-1) @ Detroit Lions (5-9)
After firing their offensive coordinator, the Vikings demolished Miami, with a strong game from Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook. Minnesota still needs some shenanigans to get in the post season, and all they need to do on their part is win against their rival Lions. The Lions barely beat Tampa Bay, and the Lions’ disappointing season continues. I’m going to pick the Vikings to pick up this win, because they’re a better team than the Lions despite the closeness of record.
Buffalo Bills (5-9) @ New England Patriots (9-5)
The Patriots lost to the Steelers last week, which all but confirms their first wild card game since 2009. The Patriots are still a good team, but now they’re looking mortal, and Father Time is starting to catch up to Tommy Boy. The Bills narrowly beat the Detroit Lions, eliminating Detroit from playoff contention. The Bills have given New England fits in the past, and they have trouble against dual threat QBs. Josh Allen is going to keep it close with some shenanigans, but I’m going to take the safe bet and pick the New England Patriots to win the AFC East for the 10th straight year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-9) @ Dallas Cowboys (8-6)
In what will be another “win and in” game for the Cowboys, they host the Bucs after getting shut out for the first time in 15 years. Against the Colts. I know the Colts are rolling, but c’mon. Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliot, and that defense should’ve given Luck nightmares. Instead, the Boys crapped the bed, which made me laugh really hard. The Bucs lost a narrow game to the Ravens, but what’s crazy is that they have a top five offense, but still can’t win games. Their defense is bad, and their QBs throw too many picks to win games. I’m going to pick the Cowboys to finally win the NFC East, and punch their ticket to a home playoff game.
Green Bay Packers (5-8-1) @ New York Jets (4-10)
How in the hell are the Packers tanking? Not only did their winning streak against Chicago end, but they’re officially eliminated from playoff contention. What makes this even sadder is that they’re tanking WITH A-ROD. That’s what they get for putting all their eggs in one Aaron Rodgers basket. But they’re playing the Jets, and we all know that the Jets are sadsacks and godawful. I’m going to pick the Packers to win a close game thanks to A-Rod shenanigans.
Houston Texans (10-4) @ Philadelphia Eagles (7-7)
How on Earth did the Eagles beat the Rams? With a Super Bowl MVP backup quarterback that’s how. With Carson’s back injury, the Eagles have shut him down for the rest of the year, meaning that The Eagles are underdogs to make the playoffs. I’m not saying that Nick Foles shenanigans are going to happen, but I’m saying it’s possible. However, they have a tough opponent in the Houston Texans, who are still trying to lock up the AFC South. This is going to be an offensive cake walk for Deshaun Watson, as the Texans cruise their way to a win, and eliminating Philly from playoff contention.
New York Giants (5-9) @ Indianapolis Colts (8-6)
The Colts shutout the Cowboys last week, and the Giants were shutout by the Titans in the same week. Now, the Giants are playing their second consecutive AFC South opponent. The Colts should steamroll over the Giants, and that’s exactly what’ll happen thanks to a strong performance from Andrew Luck.
Los Angeles Rams (11-3) @ Arizona Cardinals (3-11)
I know the Rams look mortal, but need I go on here?
Chicago Bears (10-4) @ San Francisco 49ers (4-10)
The Bears have won the NFC North, and have a chance to get a first round bye, which is just like what happened when they last went to the playoffs. The Bears have been steamrolling over everyone, and their defense is something to be feared. The Niners have surprisingly upset the Seattle Seahawks, and host the Bears this weekend. The Bears defense is going to have a field day on San Fran’s woeful offensive line, and coast their way to a win.
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5-1) @ New Orleans Saints (12-2)
The Steelers have ended their losing streak after beating the Pats, but now are on the road to New Orleans. Oh dear. The Steelers defense rank third in sacks, and need to get pressure on Drew Brees if they’re going to have a chance in this game. The Saints narrowly beat the Panthers in a huge defensive showdown, and now have a chance to nab home-field advantage, while the Steelers try not to miss the playoffs. This game is going to be an offensive battle, with James Conner and Alvin Kamara playing a game of one-ups manship. Unfortunately for Steeler Nation, they aren’t gonna win this game. I’m going to pick New Orleans to win, and do their best to lock up the #1 seed.
Sunday Night Football: Kansas City Chiefs (11-3) @ Seattle Seahawks (8-6)
2 hungry teams coming off of a loss are about to clash on Sunday Night Football. The Chiefs were beaten by the Chargers, making their grip on the AFC even weaker. Which goes to show, that you can have the highest powered offense, but your defense has to get at least a couple of stops. It can even be on accident. The Seahawks got beat by the Niners in what was a shocking upset, but Seattle still has some shenanigans to make the playoffs. But this game will most likely eliminate them, as the Chiefs annihilate the Seahawks, and get Pat Mahomes closer to 5,000 passing yards in his first year as a starter.
Christmas Eve Monday Night Football: Denver Broncos (8-6) @ Oakland Raiders (3-11)
The Raiders signed QB Nathan Peterman. With how bad the Raiders are tanking, that doesn’t surprise me at all. Knowing Jon Gruden this year, he’ll name Peterman the starting QB next year. The Raiders got humiliated by the Bengals, and that is absolutely sad. Now they host their division rival Broncos, who were annihilated by the Browns last Saturday night. The only thing these teams are fighting for is draft position, so I’m going to pick Denver to demolish Oakland, because nobody quite knows the art of tanking like The Raiders.